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More Award Success for Wast Hills Autism Service

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Wast Hills Hospital in Kings Norton, Birmingham has been recognised for its excellence at the national Autism Professional Awards.

The hospital has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Adult Services category. The judges focused on four areas; innovation, creativity, impact and sustainability, highlighting services that have made quantifiable benefits to the lives of the people they support.

The Autism Professionals Awards, part of the National Autistic Society, have been created to recognise and reward services and professionals who are leading the way in innovative autism practice and making a real difference to the lives of autistic people in the UK.
The Awards seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals, teams and organisations who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of people with autism.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 7th March in Harrogate.

This is the latest accolade for Wast Hills, which received the ‘Great Autism Practice Award’ at the prestigious 2016 National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards.

Sharena Record, Director of Operations Midlands for Danshell, said: “I am incredibly proud of the team at Wast Hills. They are doing great things every single day to improve the lives of the people we support and I am delighted that their hard work and dedication has been recognised yet again.”

Mel Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer at Danshell, said: “This is extremely well-deserved by the wonderful team at Wast Hills who are making such a positive difference to the lives of the people we support. A huge well done to each and every one of them, we are all so very proud of their achievement.”

Click here to see more about Wast Hills

Newbus Grange Raises Over £5000 for Charity

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Service users and staff at Newbus Grange, one of our services near Darlington, have shown their charitable spirit and raised more than £5,000 for good causes during 2016.

Hazel Southern, service manager at Newbus Grange, kick-started the fundraising when she bravely had her hair cut to donate to The Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair during cancer treatment. Colleagues supported her by making donations to support the charity’s work.

Sarah Llewellyn, a support worker at Newbus Grange, was so moved by the story of Hartlepool youngster Bradley Lowery, who has touched the hearts of the nation with his cancer battle and ‘bucket list’ of wishes, including breaking the world record for the number of Christmas cards received, she organised a fundraiser for his appeal.

Another great initiative saw staff at Newbus Grange, who were keen to help people who faced spending Christmas alone, donate the money they would have spent on Christmas cards for each other to Darlington Town Mission, a local charity aimed at enriching the lives of elderly people.

While in the Christmas spirit, the team also collected gifts to pack into shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, run by the Samaritan’s Purse. You can see how full they were in the image above!

Dogs Trust was another charity to benefit when staff members rallied together to raise funds to buy dog food for the Darlington shelter.

Many other fundraising events took place throughout the year to enable the hospital to make a real difference to good causes across the region.

Newbus Grange is an independent hospital providing specialist assessment and rehabilitation for men on the autistic spectrum with associated complex needs.

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Hazel Southern, service manager at Newbus Grange said: “I’m very proud of the team here at Newbus Grange; they never let me down when it comes to supporting good causes and have some great ideas.

We had everything from sponsored runs, raffles, a garden party and cake sales. We even had a dress down day for National Fish and Chip day, we basically used any excuse to fundraise!

“There is a more serious side to it though and it is important that staff and service users are an integral part of the local community. This is a key part of that philosophy.”

Click here to see more about Newbus Grange

Fighting Fit at Toller Road

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Toller Road has been working on a new initiative to get service users more active and improve their overall wellbeing and fitness. This initiative has been led by Activity Co-ordinator, Penny Watson.

They have been working with Adam Chambers, a fully qualified personal trainer and advanced instructor who owns Primal Fitness in Melton Mowbray. Adam has created individual sessions pitched at the right level and ability for the service users at Toller Road, with the emphasis on getting fit whilst having lots of fun.

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Everyone looks forward to these weekly sessions and they are already beginning to see health benefits. The team at Toller Road are hoping to build upon this success by getting service users involved in local parkrun events. Cate Ball, Service Manager at Toller Road, regularly volunteers at the parkrun event in Melton Mowbray and some of the service users from Toller Road will be joining her on 17th December 2016. The team all recognise the importance of healthy living, and other initiatives are currently being worked upon.

Well done to everyone at Toller Road for getting involved in such a fab fitness scheme! What a great start to build on!

Click here to see more about Toller Road

Healthy Living at Ranaich House

Ranaich House are in the process of applying for The Healthy Living Award. This award is given to Scottish organisations that are committed to ensuring that their catering facilities meet the following targets:

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  • Keep the level of fat and oil to a minimum
  • Keep the level of salt in food to a minimum
  • Keep the level of sugar in food to a minimum
  • Make fruit and vegetables clearly available
  • Make starchy food the main part of most meals
  • Support healthier eating through promotion
  • Ensure at least 50% of the food meets the criteria

It hasn’t always been this way; when Margaret (Service Manager) and Dawn (Chef) were appointed in 2015, they noticed that a lot of the food offered to service users had been deep fried. Margaret commented, “We worked together to plan out how we could still offer tasty foods but without deep frying. We started using Spray-Lite to either bake or grill instead of frying. As it happened, no one noticed the difference!

“As this was such a huge success, we decided that the deep fat fryer was no longer needed and we got it taken away completely. Now we don’t have the opportunity to deep fry at all and no-one has missed it. In actual fact we receive positive comments not only from the service users, but recently a neighbour has commented that he could tell when dinner was being prepared because of the delicious smells coming from our kitchen…

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“When we heard about the Green Apple Awards/Healthy Living Awards, we thought that as we had already made a real start, let’s try and get formal recognition for it!”

The people at Ranaich House are going to be making a trip to visit a local fish market, a butchers and their usual fruit and veg shop. They will then be holding a tasting session for staff and service users to try some new healthy food that they may not have had the opportunity to try before.

In addition to this, the staff are creating games and competitions based on the healthy living topic, ensuring that service users are involved in meal preparation, comparing the amount of sugar that is in a selection of fizzy drinks and looking at the amount of fat that is in a selection of popular snack foods.

Good luck to everyone with the award and we look forward to seeing pictures of your efforts.

Click here to see more about Ranaich House

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